For Saturday, around 89,000 police and other law enforcement officials were mobilized, 8,000 of them in Paris, said Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on TV channel TF1.
The number is significantly higher than the 65,000, of which initially had been mentioned. On Saturday there will be demonstrations of the „Yellow West“ again.
„This is an extraordinary mobilization,“ summed up the premier. It should also be used in Paris about a dozen armored vehicles of the gendarmerie. „We do not want (…) that the republic, the institutions (and) common security be put at stake.“ Meanwhile, the protest in the country spreads to other social groups.
Last weekend, protesters in protests in Paris delivered the „Yellow West“ street battles with the police. Cars went up in flames, shops were looted. Police arrested more than 400 people – a level that has not been reached in the past decades. It is now the fourth weekend in a row that is being protested with major actions in the country. The „Yellow West“ have been demonstrating against planned tax increases on gasoline and diesel since mid-November – but now the protest is much more general and is directed against the government and President Emmanuel Macron.
Since Monday, students and students throughout France are protesting against education reforms. They block educational institutions. Again, the situation is tense. During a demonstration, 146 people were arrested on Thursday near Paris. These were mainly students who had protested near a school in Mantes-la-Jolie, the police said. The students had rioted in the place. All over the country more than 700 students were provisionally arrested, according to AFP news agency.
Prime Minister Philippe declared in the Senate that Interior Minister Christophe Castaner is calling for no demonstrations on Saturday in Paris. It was not forbidden to demonstrate – though demonstrators would not fall into the trap of thugs.
The crisis also affects tourism, which is an important economic pillar of France. Due to the expected protests, the landmark of Paris, the Eiffel Tower, will be closed to visitors on Saturday. Even the opera and museums like the world-famous Louvre do not want to open.
French President Macron had come a little further to the demonstrators on Wednesday evening, announcing that it was overriding the planned 2019 fuel and diesel tax hikes. At these increases the protest of the „Yellow West“ was kindled.
With public appearances, the president stayed behind after his return from the G20 summit in Argentina. The statements for government policy delivered instead to Prime Minister Philippe before the National Assembly and the Senate. Minister of the Environment François de Rugy announced the change of course in tax increases during a live broadcast on television.
If the Minister of Education does not give a strong response soon, there will be deaths, said the President of the National Student Union, Louis Boyard, the station BFMTV. He feared violence in the protests – and at the same time called to rest.
Some areas of the University of Paris Sorbonne remained closed on Thursday, as the college announced. According to media reports, several people had previously tried to occupy parts of the university.
For next week, farmers have announced protests. One reason for the anger of the farmers is „Agri-Bashing“ – so generalized attacks on the profession of farmers, it was said by the farmers‘ union. The peasants felt „humiliated“.
Meanwhile, the French capital is preparing for further riots. Police were on duty around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, where violent riots arose last weekend. The entrances to the world famous landmark were closed. Individual shops on the boulevard Champs-Élysées were secured – but otherwise there was the usual visitor rush on the boulevard.
With a view to possible new riots also several football matches were canceled. These include Friday’s game between AS Monaco and OGC Nice. The game had been canceled at the request of the Government of the Principality of Monaco and the prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes, said the French Football League. An originally scheduled for Sunday game between AS Saint-Etienne and Olympique Marseille has been postponed.
The league initially did not comment on the reasons. According to AFP, the policemen scheduled for the games are instead to be used in the demonstrations of the „yellow vests“. Because of the protests were also postponed the Saturday planned top match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and the HSC Montpellier and the match between Toulouse and Lyon.